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The dangers of drowsiness in truck drivers were again highlighted when a North Carolina (NC) dump truck driver ran off the road and into a ditch. The truck driver from Kinston, NC, survived a number of sharp jolts to his body in the crash on September 27, 2011, after he apparently dozed off and ran off the right shoulder of US 70 at La Grange, reported.

Police are likely to charge the man with reckless driving.

As experienced North Carolina (NC) trucking accident injury attorneys, my colleagues and I see many accidents caused by overly tired drivers, so we are relieved that neither the truck driver nor any other road users were hurt.

Because of the long distances truck drivers cover and their atypical work hours, falling asleep at the wheel is a major risk factor. Add to the equation the fact they are in control of tens of tons of potentially lethal metal, and it’s a recipe for mayhem and death, not to mention lawsuits against the trucking companies.

Recent research has shown that the lifestyles of truck drivers place them at an elevated risk. They suffer numerous health problems such as obesity. Twenty-five percent have sleep apnea, and 50 percent of truck drivers are smokers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is considering the possibility of tightening health requirements in the trucking industry.

According to a recent poll by Sleep in America, more than a third of all drivers — 36 percent — drivers admit to nodding off or falling asleep while behind the wheel of a car.

To learn more, read these tips to help safeguard against falling asleep at the wheel.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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